A First Response
The Bosnian Suite
The First World War
My Fathers War
The Home Front
Germany and Poland
War Tourist Exhibition
War Tourist - The Book
A major exhibition of work by internationally regarded Aberdeen artist Joyce Cairns was shown in Aberdeen Art Gallery from 10th February to 8th April 2006 reflecting the artist’s response to war – a subject that has held her interest for more than 20 years.
This very personal story is portrayed in a powerful series of large scale paintings. They combine the past with the present, chronicling the artists journey as a ‘War Tourist’ through time and across continents, to Tunisia where her father –a Queen’s Own Cameron Highlander- had seen active service and into Euorpe. She travels beyond the war that he experienced to explore the horrors of the First World War, the Holocaust, and her reactions to the conflict in Bosnia and The Gulf.
"The exhibition was incredibly successful…. it attracted 29,291 visitors, representing a huge range of ages and interests. Many of the visitors commented on how moved they were at your portrayal of war and personal journey"
Christine Rew, Officer in Charge (acting)
Museums and Galleries, Aberdeen
The Comments Book
There were 621 entries in the exhibition comments book, made by visitors from all over world.
The following are a small selection:
Powerful and evocative. Originality of theme and execution.
This show should be seen everywhere – WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER – poignantly stark seen through your eyes plus a different perspective on the agony of war.
I was moved to tears, so powerful
How could one ever be the same after viewing this exhibition, let alone painting it – an artist extraordinaire.
Brings back memories of World War Two for a veteran of the war
A breathtaking exhibition, so moving – a wonderful memorial to these poor people
Outstanding insight into Joyce and her motivation – very moving
A wonderful and moving exhibition – quite the best I have seen in many years, very emotive
I’ve spent well over twice the length of time viewing this fantastic display than I normally do when here - A marked reminder of what man can do against man without faith.
Every politician and so-called leaders should see this – when will it stop – thanks Joyce.
One of the best exhibitions I have ever seen at Schoolhill, what a narrative! In putting this show on, Aberdeen Art Gallery punches at well above its weight, Bravo
Excellent exhibition, I particularly enjoyed the explanations beside each painting.
Poignant –provocative, having just retuned from serving in Iraq – we have a new merry- go-round
The pictures of the shoes, when I look at it I say to myself what a wicked heart we humans have got, the music in the back ground – sorrowful
The subject matter may well be depressing; Joyce Cairns however is one of our most accomplished modern day figurative painters.
Amazing – I knew some of the people in the photo of the Cameron Highlanders, they were friends of my stepfather – lovely paintings
My 14-year-old daughter enjoyed her school art trip so much she asked me to take her back and I am so glad we did. I will never forget this exhibition for its family values both yours Joyce and mine – I am very grateful to you. Mother and daughter time
I’m blown away by it! Fantastic.
Very moving exhibition and also beautiful – it should go to the Imperial War Museum, London.
This collection is stunning, one of the best exhibitions I have ever seen – well done Joyce
One of the most moving exhibitions it has been my privilege to see. It deserves a national audience.
Not since visiting Belsen when I was 17 has an exhibition shown what the real horror of war is.
The more you look, the more you find – amazing works.
I hope it will be possible for this exhibition to tour – it should be widely seen
An amazing exhibition – it made me cry. My 6 uncles and 9 of my Dad’s cousins fought in World War One, Gordons and Seaforths and some didn’t come back
Overwhelming, Joyce in so many ways – how have you survived through this?
The exhibition was supported by the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery Fund and accompanied by the publication of a superb new book, made possible through sponsorship from Aberdeen Asset Management PLC and supported by The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.
To discover how and why these works were developed you can order a copy of the book. Go to Book to find out more.